Pornokitsch – End Of A Titan

This week we got some very sad news in the reading world. Pornokitsch, one of the largest reading blog/sites around and site that constantly feels dangerous to have in your google history at work, is shutting down. PK has been a valued resource for readers and other reviewers for years, and is part of the reason I decided to get into reviewing in the first place.

Jared in particular, the PK member who handles most of the fantasy content, is one of the best reviewers out there – bringing tons of insight and wit to all his reviews. I regularly disagree with him on his assessments of books, but think that all of his opinions are well argued and worth listening to because he takes a ton of time and effort to formulate them.

The reasons cited for PK shutting down is that it just wasn’t fun enough to do anymore. I can definitely understand that mentality, we were unable to get a post out this Tuesday just due to how busy we are, and having to deal with that sort of impact on your life for the 10 years that PK ran must have been exhausting. However, while I wish them the best of luck and understand why they are closing shop I will still miss them dearly, and maybe The Quill to Live can make the best of a sad thing and shamelessly steal part of their reader base.

In honor of PK, we wanted to highlight some of their posts from over the years we liked in no particular order. If you haven’t every checked out PK, now is as good a time as any and we hope that people still use the existing content for years to come:

-The QTL Team

Unbound Worlds: A Long Time Ago – Boundless Love for Star Wars

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Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

Hi Folks!

With the 40th Anniversary of the release of Star Wars: A New Hope, Penguin Random House has released a Star Wars short story collection titled From A Certain Point of View. To coincide with this, Unbound Worlds has published stories from a group of authors, who are all Star Wars fans, about how they came to love the Star Wars universe in a piece titled A Long Time Ago. Last time we mentioned Unbound Worlds it was to give you an extra resource to find new books in the Sci-Fi and Fantasy sub genres thanks to one of their well-crafted lists. A Long Time Ago is just as good, with some wonderfully written and thoughtful pieces by a variety of great authors.

One of the reasons Star Wars has been and continues to be such a huge franchise is that it appeals to people for countless reasons, and this collection of stories gives you an eloquent view into the way it has influenced a bunch of authors’ lives. There are pieces on an inspiring love of the entire series, the pull of Dark Side, the strong heroines throughout the Star Wars movies, the inclusivity present in the galaxy far, far, away, and more.

The reason I absolutely loved reading all the stories in A Long Time Ago was how relatable so many of the stories were. These are people who fell in love with Star Wars just like I did, and whose love still runs deep to this day. These are the people that would nod knowingly when I explained how I sat in awe when I watched the 1995 THX remastered trilogy with my family one weekend, and how I proceeded to re-watch one movie after school every day when I came home for about a year. These are fans who get goosebumps when they hear the first crescendo of the main title, just like me.

The other reason I enjoyed reading through this collection of short stories is that, as long as you have a strong love for any particular franchise, you can relate to the way these authors feel about Star Wars. One of my favorite things to do is ask people to tell me about what their favorite series is and why. It is always a fun experience to hear what aspects of a series appealed most to people, and I think it helps me get to know who a person is. A Long Time Ago is basically textual nectar for me since all the stories coincide with my own love, but even if Star Wars is not your cup of tea (or blue milk), I think reading about the parts of the Star Wars Universe that spoke to these authors will help you get to know them better and give you a better appreciation of its influence on their storytelling.

If you have some free time, go check out some of these short stories! Max Gladstone(author of the Craft Sequence) and Peter Clines(author of the Ex-Heroes series) were some of my favorites. What were yours?

-Sean

Grey Sister US Cover Reveal

Just a reminder that Red Sister exists and that you should go read it, and also a kick ass sequel cover.

that thorn guy

It is with great pride and near-giddy joy that I hereby reveal this stunning US cover from ACE and artist Bastien Lecouffe-Deharmefor Mark Lawrence‘s upcoming book: Grey Sister

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In Mystic Class Nona Grey begins to learn the secrets of the universe. But so often even the deepest truths just make our choices harder. Before she leaves the Convent of Sweet Mercy Nona must choose her path and take the red of a Martial Sister, the grey of a Sister of Discretion, the blue of a Mystic Sister or the simple black of a Bride of the Ancestor and a life of prayer and service.

All that stands between her and these choices are the pride of a thwarted assassin, the ambition of a would-be empress wielding the Inquisition like a blade, and the vengeance of the empire’s richest lord.

As the world narrows around her, and…

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Starting Places For Various Sub-Genres – Unbound Worlds

I am unfortunately a bit disorganized today, so I do not have a fresh review or thought piece for you to burn through. Instead, I want to draw attention to a great piece from another website – Unbound Worlds.

Unbound Worlds has created a fantastic introduction list to a number of various sci-fi and fantasy sub-genres called So You Want To Read… A Guide To Sci-Fi And Fantasy Subgenres. The list has all your classic mainstream sub-genres like High Fantasy or Military Sci-fi. However, it also has a number of lists for the more obscure genres out there, such as Weird Fiction and Hollow Earth Fiction. It is a great resource for starting the various genres, and while their lists are certainly not exhaustive I find I can’t argue with almost any of their recommendations. If you are feeling genre fatigue, want to diversify your reading, or are just looking for some sub-genre all-stars you might have missed – check it out!

Other Great Sites – Please Don’t Leave Me

Sending people to my competition is not exactly the smartest idea I have ever had, but there is some great content out there for fantasy and science fiction readers that you might not be aware of. So for today’s post, I thought I would compile a short list of other resources that I use myself to keep in the know, read awesome reviews, and connect with the reading community.

Bigger sites for news and opinion pieces:

/r/Fantasy – This one is pretty obvious for most of us, but since I pretty much live there I thought it would be worth mentioning. /r/Fantasy is a great compilation forum for news and has some great discussion. Unfortunately, I find it is not a great place for reviews, and I often turn to smaller blogs which I trust more. The side bar has some excellent resources for information on upcoming releases, community events, and info on the genre all stars that every review recommends.

Tor.com – Tor offers a lot, but the best thing it offers is discussion pieces on books new and old, as well as on the genre as a whole. I like to take a short peruse through their articles once a day and often find a great discussion piece or thought starter. While it isn’t a good site for staying up to date on book news, they have in my opinion the best op ed content out there and I highly recommend you take a look.

Unbound Worlds – Penguin Random House’s site and another great place for op ed pieces. Unbound Worlds offers both news and opinion pieces, though they post a lot less frequently than /r/fantasy or Tor. I usually check in with them about once a month, but they provide some great reads – in particular when it comes to their own books (which there are a lot of).

Macmillan Newsletter – The sign up for the newsletter is on the right hand side of the page. I subscribe to a lot of newsletters, but Macmillan takes the cake as they are great at telling me about author events in my area. They aren’t a fantasy and sci-fi only site – but they still have been my best resource for finding out that Sanderson or Danial Abraham are coming through NYC.

HarperVoyagerBooks – A great site that just had a relaunch (and looks gorgeous), Harper Voyager mostly promote their own work – but do a great job with it. They have lots of interesting pieces by their authors and editors about books, current events, and the genre as a whole. I am a big fan of this group as they have a lot of heart and really care about the genre, so I recommend you give them a read.

Smaller sites I usually go for reviews:

Mighty Thor JRS – James is ridiculous – both in the amount of content he produces and its quality. He is a great writer and I love reading his content. We have similar, but varied enough, taste in books that I like to read his opinions of the same books I review to see if we agree. Hes a great guy with a good site and I recommend you check him out.

BiblioSanctum – I think that Biblio does a great job in their critical reviews, and while I often disagree when they don’t like a book, it is rare for me to find I don’t enjoy a book they recommend. I am not a fan on their 5 star system (hence why I use out of ten) as I find it makes it difficult to identify good middle of the road books, but their 5/5s are almost always books I find amazing. They have a talented team of writers and I love binge reading their posts from time to time.

Bookwraiths – So Bookwraiths and I rarely agree on anything (right now he has a review of Red Sister up that breaks my heart). Wendell and I have very different taste, but I think he writes excellent well though out reviews that are impressively detailed compared to what a lot of other people are putting out. It is always important to be open to opposing opinions, especially when rating a book, and I like to think of him as a great counterpoint to my own work. If you are looking someone with a different POV than The Quill to Live Bookwraiths will provide it with high quality writing.

Mark Lawrence – Mark is the author of multiple best selling fantasy series, including the previously mentioned Red Sister, but he also runs a pretty great fantasy blog as well. Mark provides a great window into the world of being and author and helps show a lot of whats under the hood when it comes to writing books. His posts are informative and interesting and I usually read through everything he posts.

The Quill to Live – You knew I was going to do it, stop rolling your eyes. I think what we have going on here is pretty great. As we go into our second year of this site we are working harder to try and provide you more content and more interesting content. If there is anything you readers would like to see more of (or less of) please let me know in the comments or drop me a email through the contact tab. I love hearing from the people who read our stuff and I hope you like reading it too.